Sunday, December 15, 2013

Life Lessons from Cross-Stitching

I learned a lot of life lessons from my cross-stitching.
1) Only the person who has the cross-stitch pattern knows the full design.
2) When viewed from the under-side, the pattern is a mess: knotted, loose threads, not the little "x" patterns which dominate the front.
3. Mistakes happen.
4. When the above mentioned mistakes happen, sometimes they're caught early enough to go back & undo the stitches to fix the mistakes. Other times the entire pattern will shift around a mistake.
5. Cross-stitching takes lots of patience. Lots.
6. What I think should happen and what the pattern calls for are two separate things. I think in terms of what is quickest and easiest, but the pattern calls for difficult things that play out in the long run.
7. When the piece is finished, it's nice, but after everything is outlined, it's stunning.
8. The pattern can fall short of the piece's beauty because everything is coded. After a while, the person cross-stitching will automatically know the code, but the finished product is colorful & not in a code.
9. The pattern sometimes calls for things the cross-stitcher doesn't understand (like why do I need to mix and match threads), but the end result is worth it.
10. When others see the finished piece, they won't notice the little mistakes made along the way, but the beauty of the cross-stitch and the time, effort, & skill that went into making it.

I connect cross-stitching to my faith.
*I don't always see the Master's pattern & sometimes I only see the back of the cross-stitch, where I notice the mistakes & mess, but can't see how it works into the greater beauty of the piece.
*Mistakes made can very rarely be entirely undone, but that's no reason to throw away the partial cross-stitch. Mistakes in life will happen, but life will keep going on. It is inevitable that every person will stumble and fall in the mud, the question is will I admit it, get up, & dust myself off? Or will I wallow in the mud in self-pity? I can't change the past, but I have hope in my future.
*I don't understand or know God's plan for my life. I try to go day-by-day leaning on & trusting in Him. I don't always understand why I'm going through a certain situation, however I can take refuge in the fact that I'm not going through that situation alone & God can turn any situation I go through into something for His glory. I sometimes think in terms of what's easiest, but in being a Christ-follower, I am committed to following Him, even when the road isn't easy.
*Like the difference between a finished cross-stitch & an *outlined* finished cross-stitch, a person's life can be good & nice, but when that same life is outlined in Jesus, it becomes spectacular.
*Sometimes I am painfully aware of my faults and failures, but forget that what is so obvious to me, sometimes appears in a more subtle way to passerby's.

A verse from Colossians (3: 23) seems applicable here: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Whatever I do. Whether that is walking to class, reading my Bible, studying, or even cross-stitching.

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